Marlesha Woods & RCRC
Art Embodied: Immeasurable Paint
Community Research Expo 2020
Art Embodied Interactive Mural Map
The Art Embodied Mural Map series surveys the racial wealth gap through public art contracts facilitated within Louisville Metro. The inclination to observe artistry of any medium requires an analytical framework of voyeurism and accountability. Citizens are urged to inquire about the street art, murals, and graffiti amongst us, while interjecting counterintuitive explorations of self, racial justice, historical context, social context, and ethical practices. Art both visual and performing are subjective to interpretation. However, the responsibility among powerholders and stakeholders to actively dismantle disenfranchisement of racially identified minorities (RIM) is not only a matter of public art but public health.
Videos also @TheArtyouKnow on YouTube
Community Researcher Marlesha Woods and RCRC developed an interactive storymap, video presentation, and report (note: report release date 2021) entitled Art Embodied: Immeasurable Paint for the inaugural Community Research Expo. This work looks at the discriminatory practices, tokenism, cultural appropriation, and other injustices related to the Racial Wealth Gap within the art industry, here, in Louisville, KY.
On February 3, 2021, a public meeting was held LIVE on Facebook that was requested by representatives from the Louisville Metro Government and Community Foundation of Louisville. Sarah Lindgren requested that Marlesha give Louisville Metro Government her data--stripped of the context of its larger narrative and intention--in service of the development of a Metro produced "comprehensive" public art map.
“[The city]’s [public art] map is about where money is missing…. My map is not really geared towards just where is money missing, but the accountability piece of where has money gone. Right? And I’m not even for sure if anybody else who is creating maps is discussing that point…. What I’m looking at (in terms of identifiers) [is]  what is the racially identified ethnic group that that artist is associated with,  who funded the art (if that is available) and  if it was public art that was with a [Request for Proposals] that (let’s just say) was open to everybody. Because that’s not always the case.”
--- Marlesha Woods, visual arts educator and community researcher, Facebook LIVE (starts at 00:35:30), February 3, 2021
Marlesha Woods (she/her/Mrs)
Marlesha is a dedicated visual arts educator, an active professional member of the National Art Education Association, as well as, an accomplished mixed media artist. Her work reaches beyond cultural and societal barriers, and her practice centers art as an essential component of public health and wellness. She graduated cum laude from Sullivan College of Technology and Design and studied Sociology at Indiana University where she holds a B.G.S. As a Community Researcher at the Root Cause Research Center, she is working on a project that addresses an issue within the Racial Wealth Gap.